Friday, June 09, 2006

Ding dong, the Charter's dead

Chanellor John Weaver has ruled that the Knox County Charter is invalid. I wrote here last week that regardless of what your personal opinion on the issue of term limits might be, having read the Charter I believed that it was not constitutionally sound and that the right decision legally would be for the Chancery Court to throw it out. Today that Court has done so.

While I realize that many advocates of term limits are lamenting this decision as destroying the 1994 term limits amendment to the County Charter, and many of these same good people blame the five Commissioners who brought the suit as the ones to blame for the present crisis, since many of those same term-limits advocates are conservatives they ought to be meeting this decision with great rejoicing.

The scrapping of the Charter should be met with barbecues, block parties, fireworks, and celebratory gunfire all over Knox County. I personally plan to deposit several glasses of champaigne in celebration. Conservatives who do not celebrate this glorious development have not yet weighed in their minds the fullness of the magnitude of this decision, and they should think with a clear head.

Think for a moment...

How can the Tyrant and his mignons in the City-County Building continue to legally impose and collect their vile and perfidious wheel tax when it was passed under the now-invalid Charter? Oh, they will attempt to, but they will be above the law when so doing. As soon as someone challenges that Levy of Lucifer they will be forced to cease collecting it until they can get the General Assembly to agree to it in a private act. The General Assembly has adjourned sine die, and Honourable Members from West Tennessee would by no means take kindly to being convened in Special Session to address some Knox County matter.

Rediculous regulations and needless rulemaking will be undone. Much of the intended welfare state of the present regime has, in a singular Court decision, come unravelled and unwound.

Glory Hallelujah.

Yes, I know it will only be a matter of time before those who do the desolate work of tyranny will patch the Duty of the Devil back into place. Indeed, I expect that within a month a Charter Committee will be formed whose duty it will be-rather than writing some righteous instrument of Republican virtue-to draw up some instrument of localized socialism.

In the meantime however, we can rejoice that we are temporarily relieved of "5,000 tyrants one mile away."


At Friday, June 09, 2006 10:19:00 PM, Blogger TheRep said...

What about people who tied the knot under the "illegal county govt"?

At Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:44:00 AM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

TheRep makes a good point. Isn't there a court setup under the charter that has sent people to jail? What about that?


At Saturday, June 10, 2006 6:08:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

In lieu of a Charter, Knox County reverts to Government under Chapter Five of the Tennessee code. The regulation of marriage is a State, not a county function. The county issues the license and sets the fee for its issue, but does so according to laws previously laid down by the State.

Where men and women have been incarcerated for violating the laws of the State of Tennessee, those sentences would stand and the removal of the Charter has no bearing on them. Where people have been fined or incarcerated for violating Ordinances passed under the illegal Charter can and should have their cases reviewed.

At Saturday, June 10, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Good answer. Seems reasonable. However, if the court itself was illeagal, invalid (whatever) wouldn't that at least give grounds for a re-trial?


At Sunday, June 11, 2006 9:54:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Most county courts are authorized under the Tennessee Constitution or the Tennessee Cose. As a result, if a case had to do with precepts of State law, those rulings (and those judgements) would stand. As I understand it, only those cases that pertain to county law under the invalid government can be questioned.

Knox County now reverts to what is called a "constitutional" form of county government-that is the type of government originally intended by the both the Tennessee Constitution and the Tennessee code. Under this type of government, the purpose of the county governing apparatus is to enforce the laws of the State of Tennessee within Knox County.

Unless the new charter is some vastly impressive instrument of liberty-if I am voting in the next charter referendum, I will likely vote against it.


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